JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…”
June 13, 2010, 9:36 pm
Filed under: N Letter to the Colossians

As I begin looking at understanding some of the letter to Colossians by Paul it is with some trepidation because of the huge vastness of Jesus Christ that is portrayed in this one letter! But I do want to share what I think God is speaking to me by His Spirit reference the letter no matter how deep and heavy the letter is, as a follower of Jesus Christ “the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you” (1 John 2:27). Of course we do not know the fullness of God’s wisdom without hearing from the Lord through His corporate body.

Colossians was written during Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, perhaps after a year or so waiting for his trial. We also have to realize that Paul had been in a prison for over two years in Caesarea before he came to Rome. The last thing we know from Luke from his letter of Acts is that “for two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” So this letter to the Christians in Colosse comes out of much persecution and trial but also out of much fullness of knowing Jesus Christ through this journey of faith with God’s people.

This letter is actually written to a church which Paul had not proclaimed Christ to directly, but was the result of one or two of his assistant church planters in Ephesus, specifically Epaphras. Apparently it is Epaphras who found Paul in Rome and told him how the church in Colosse had been living out their life in Christ and which was the cause for writing the letter. Paul told the church that “I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.” So it seems that Epaphras had also proclaimed the riches of Jesus Christ in Laodicea and Hierapolis and churches had been formed their as well. Archippus must have been another church planter that was working with Epaphras on helping build the foundation of the churches on Jesus Christ in this area. Paul describes him as his “fellow soldier” in his letter to Philemon, and so must have been staying with Philemon while helping to guide the church. In Colossians Paul encourages Archippus by saying “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

While “Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him” many of Paul’s assistant church planters spent time with him at his rented house. No doubt much of this was spent in sharing life together, praying together, “teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom,” singing songs together “with gratitude in (their) hearts to God.” His assistant church planters had probably met the brothers and sisters that were mentioned in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, giving them Paul’s greeting and mutually encouraging each other’s faith in the Lord. And perhaps many of the church had visited Paul during his imprisonment, especially Phoebe, Priscilla and Aquila. Paul mentioned in his letter to these Christians in Rome how he had “long to see (them) so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutally encouraged by each other’s faith.” No doubt this happened in a wonderful way many times as they met each other and gathered together in his rented house in the name of the Lord Jesus. And the soldier who guarded Paul was in the middle of it all!

After a year or so Epaphras shows up and explains to Paul some concerns he has in what he is witnessing in the churches of Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis. It is hard to say if this Epaphras is a shortened name for Epaphroditus, one of Paul’s workers from Philippi whom Paul mentioned in his letter to the Philippians. It appears that while the character of both men are similar in both letters this could just represent the fullness of Christ, His character, being manifested in both of them. Also Epaphroditus appears to be from Philippi and Epaphras is from Colosse. Obviously many people can have similar names or the same name, so I take this Epaphras being a different assistant church planter than from Epaphroditus. Both perhaps had been trained by Paul to be an assistant church planter in Ephesus after he had witnessed their life in Jesus within the life of the body of Christ.

Paul begins his letter to the Colossian Christians describing himself as “an apostle” or messenger “of Christ Jesus by (or through) the will of God, and Timothy our brother.” Paul describes the function he was given by the Lord, to be His messenger. Perhaps because of being in Rome he reflected on his previous letter he sent to the Roman church: “called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God” of which Paul explains in great detail to those Christians. He also said to the Christians in Rome “Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to obedience that comes from faith.”

Paul describes these Christians in Colosse, who had called on the name of the Lord Jesus, as “holy and faithful brothers in Christ.” Holy is also the same word translated for saints that he also used in his letters to to the Corinthians, to the Philippians, and the Romans. In the beginning of this letter Paul’s first thought to these Christians is that they are holy, they are separated in Christ, they belong to Jesus Christ! This understanding of separation and belonging to Jesus Christ is manifested in their being “faithful brothers,” one to another. What wonderful “grace and peace” has been given to us “from God our Father” that we are separated from this dark world and belong to Jesus Christ! May this sink deep into our spirits!

As representative of Paul he says “we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…” How much the body of Christ is about a relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship that is founded on prayer, not just personal prayer but corporate prayer, prayer of thankfulness for one another! How often only one or two take up the entire time of our meetings praying to God and forgetting about the prayers of others. May we talk to God to one another and thank him for each of us together in His body! May God stir this up more in our spirits! This prayer of thankfulness is “because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.” Could others pray similarly of our organic churches? Do we have such a vision of Jesus Christ in our gatherings that Jesus manifests this kind of life in us? May it be so!


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Pingback by Verses of Encouragement !!

yes! absolutely!

Comment by John Wilson

they are!

Comment by John Wilson

hey whats your myspace page.

Comment by how much should i weigh

sorry, but I do not have a myspace page.

Comment by John Wilson

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